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A federal registered partnership in Geneva

Procedures, documents required or matrimonial regimes: this page presents all the useful information for people of the same sex who registered a partnership before 1 July 2022. It explains any legal impacts of the registered partnership, in particular concerning taxes and surnames.

Opening hours: 8h30 to 11h45 and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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Des mains d'hommes signant les papiers de partenariat.

General information 

With the enactment of the new provisions governing marriage for all on 1 July 2022, all same-sex couples and heterosexual couples will be entitled to initiate a preparatory marriage procedure.
It will no longer be possible to conclude registered civil partnerships in Switzerland. Existing civil partnerships can be maintained without the partners having to make a special declaration.

Conversion of a partnership into a marriage

Couples who were in a registered civil partnership before 1 July 2022 can convert their partnership into a marriage at any time by means of a joint declaration before a civil registrar. This conversion can be performed at the registry office of their choice by means of a declaration before a registrar or, on request, the declaration can be delivered as part of a ceremony in the marriage celebration venue in the presence of two witnesses of sound mind who are 18 years of age or older. The conversion declaration may also be filed with a Swiss diplomatic representation abroad. The conversion has no effect on the name. It does not permit the issuance of a marriage certificate, but acts merely as a proof of conversion.

  • Couples who were in a registered civil partnership before 1 July 2022 can also decide to initiate a preparatory marriage procedure instead of converting their partnership into a marriage. This procedure makes it possible to obtain a marriage certificate and possibly to choose a common name Link to the procedure: Converting your partnership into a marriage

Choice of surname and identity papers

The partners retain their surname but, since 1 January 2013,  they have also had the option of using the maiden name of one of the partners as a common name.

In the event of a conversion of the partnership into a marriage, the surname chosen when concluding the partnership does not change.

If the surname is changed after a partnership is concluded, you must renew several official documents, including your identity documents.

Registered partnership, nationality and right of citizenship

The registered partnership has no impact on the right of citizenship.

With regard to a foreign partner acquiring Swiss nationality, the law does not provide for the possibility of obtaining Swiss naturalisation by means of a facilitated procedure as is the case for the foreign spouse of a Swiss national.

However, in the case of a conversion of a partnership into a marriage, the duration of the registered partnership before the conversion is taken into account when calculating the duration of the marriage with a view to facilitated naturalisation.

Recognition of a same-sex partnership or marriage celebrated abroad

A same-sex partnership or marriage duly celebrated abroad is recognised in Switzerland if it complies with the principles of Swiss law.

Dissolution of the partnership

Couples bound by a registered partnership can terminate it. To dissolve a partnership, a request must be submitted to the relevant judge in the canton in which the partners, or one of the partners, are/is resident.

Conditions for having a partnership registered

If you wish to have your partnership registered, you and your partner must satisfy the following conditions:

  • be of the same sex;
  • be aged 18 and be capable of discernment;
  • not have any close family tie to your partner;
  • prove that any previous marriage or partnership has been annulled or dissolved;
  • one of you must have Swiss nationality or be resident in Switzerland;
  • for partners who are not Swiss citizens, you must establish the legality of your residence in Switzerland during the preliminary partnership procedure. In the absence of a valid residence permit, the civil registry office will be obliged to refuse to conclude the partnership.

New marital status

The official designation is “bound by a registered partnership” and respectively “partnership dissolved” after legal dissolution of the partnership or the death of one or other partner.

The marital status must always be indicated on official forms and in correspondence with the authorities.

Choice of surname and identity papers 

The partners retain their surname but, since 1 January 2013, they have also had the option of using the unmarried name of one of the partners as a common name.

If the surname is changed after a partnership is concluded, you must renew several official documents, including your identity documents.

Registered partnership, nationality and right of citizenship

The registered partnership has no impact on the right of citizenship.

With regard to a foreign partner acquiring Swiss nationality, the law does not provide for the possibility of obtaining Swiss naturalisation by means of a facilitated procedure as is the case for the foreign spouse of a Swiss national.

Recognition of a same-sex partnership or marriage celebrated abroad

A same-sex partnership or marriage duly celebrated abroad is recognised as a registered partnership in Switzerland if it complies with the principles of Swiss law.

Dissolution of the partnership

Couples bound by a registered partnership can terminate it. To dissolve a partnership, a request must be submitted to the relevant judge in the canton in which the partners, or one of the partners, are/is resident.

Contact

Service de l'état civil

37 Rue de la Mairie

1207

Genève

Suisse

Tél. +41224186650

Fax. +41224186651

Email

Service de l'état civil

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Article modifié le 11.01.2023 à 14:11